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Chat: Scoresheet Chat with Ben, Jared, and Ian

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Welcome to Baseball Prospectus' Tuesday April 22, 2014 8:00 PM ET chat session with Scoresheet Chat with Ben, Jared, and Ian.

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Talk Scoresheet and fantasy with the three hosts of the TTO Scoresheet Podcast.

Scoresheet Chat with Ben, Jared, and Ian: Howdy! Welcome to the Three True Outcomes Scoresheet Baseball...chat! We're happy to take questions about Scoresheet, baseball, and all other topics!

Rob (York, PA): Who would you rather have on your fantasy team for this season Gregory Polanco or Oscar Taveras?

Scoresheet Chat with Ben, Jared, and Ian: This year Polanco has surpassed Taveras in our minds; Polanco has the clearer path and fewer concerns about injuries and playing time.

Typhoon (Pacific Rim): How does a three-person chat work? Does it work similar to our three-person/three-armed Jaeger?

Scoresheet Chat with Ben, Jared, and Ian: The answer so far is...we aren't sure! We love talking to each other, so that's definitely part of it. Some of us are funnier than others, but some of us are also familiar with the BP chat software. Only time will tell who can best handle answering questions, even despite Pacific Rim references.

notbretsayre (notnj): So as a first time Scoresheet player, what am I supposed to do with the unused playing time report? Due to hitting on a few later round picks, I have a good amount of depth both on offense and my pitching staff. Does unused playing time make players more attractive in trade? Or is it just a mechanic to identify potential trade chips among other teams?

Scoresheet Chat with Ben, Jared, and Ian: I like the unused playing time report for exactly the reasons you stated. Generally you have to drill deeper than just the report to understand why a player isn’t playing, but in a standard league with little or no in-season free agency, you’re more reliant on other players to have surplus talent than in your typical fantasy league.

howling wolf (Silver Spring MD): Hi guys! Dallas Keuchel: you buying that he's become a decent starter? I read somewhere he's using his slider more this year and is generating a lot of swings and misses with it. His changeup was already a good pitch.

Scoresheet Chat with Ben, Jared, and Ian: We're all fans of Keuchel, especially as a target in the upcoming supplemental drafts. He's a solid buy candidate at this point, and we went into some depth on him during our mock supplemental draft on last week's episode.

Leslie Knope (Anytown USA): On a scale of one to chipotle, how good will the Rays be this season?

Scoresheet Chat with Ben, Jared, and Ian: Rays expectations were probably somewhere around a burrito bowl with a side of soft taco shells--the ideal combination of burrito quantity and the fantastic blend of tortilla and fillings. In light of some of the injuries and a rotation of...weak sauce...at DH, I'd downgrade the expectations to something north of 3 hard shell tacos but well south of a burrito full of barbacoa.

Grant (Chatt, TN): Congrats on the inaugural SS chat. Instead of the TINO what is everyone drinking introduction, can we get a what snack in a bowl you have? Thanks for the chat.

Scoresheet Chat with Ben, Jared, and Ian: Ian dines on the blood of lesser Scoresheet players. Jared has as much chocolate as possible, especially at work--it attracts friendly visitors. Ben has been digging the boxes that come in the mail from Graze--check them out.

Jed Moseley (NYC): If you could make one change to the mechanics of Scoresheet baseball, what would it be?

Scoresheet Chat with Ben, Jared, and Ian: This question is great because in all of the angles where we've ranted about Scoresheet, we don't hit on the actual mechanics that often. We've talked about other things, but I think it would be really awesome if they came up with a variety of league where you could actively manage during the game, so instead of having hook numbers and pinch hit ranks determine bench usage, you'd be able to, you know, manage the team.

GaryJohnson (The Beach): Continuing NL league. I need a backup shortstop. My starter is Tulowitzki and I have no other shortstop on my team (though I have Rutledge, who will qualify when Tulowitzki gets injured). Brandon Hicks, Cliff Barmes or Ehire Adrienza?

Scoresheet Chat with Ben, Jared, and Ian: This is exactly what I love about a Scoresheet chat. Death is not an option, right? The answer is clearly Clint Barmes to me, though, as his 4.85 range rating swamps the other two players, and his bat is only moribund, not comatose. Or is it the other way around? Also, looking at the soft factors, Barmes is a “bigger” name, and as such, he’ll be harder to get rid of.

ed o'mara (phila): your thoughts on hook numbers for starting pitchers

Scoresheet Chat with Ben, Jared, and Ian: We generally tend to favor (what we consider to be) relatively low hook numbers, on the order of 4.0 to 4.5 for starting pitchers, but that depends on a deep enough bullpen. You can read more in our article about hook numbers (http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=23159) and the associated podcast on setting your lineup card.

jtwalsh (Northport, NY): I recently traded Chris Sales & Chris Owings for Eric Hosmer & A. Simmons. Did I overpay?

Scoresheet Chat with Ben, Jared, and Ian: Well, before Sale got hurt it was closer, but we would have taken Hosmer and Simmons all along. Also, props on mastering the dark arts and injuring Chris Sale--as if White Sox fans could get more depressed.

Burt Macklin (FBI ): Long term: Luc Giolito or Hunter Harvey?

Scoresheet Chat with Ben, Jared, and Ian: If we were a magic 8 ball, we'd say something about things being hazy and asking again later, but right now we lean slightly towards Giolito. I think both are guys we aren't (personally) likely to end up with because even the best A ball pitching pitching prospects are difficult to keep in the Scoresheet format.

R.A. Wagman (GTA): Gentlemen, if my team is short on relievers, but probably has enough innings in total - thanks to drafting enough starters, even if two of them are Doug Fister and Derek Holland, would you prioritize drafting relievers in the first supplemental over more starters?

Scoresheet Chat with Ben, Jared, and Ian: Having elite relievers is great for a contending team at the front of their bullpen, so if you can afford using your picks and there are strong relievers available, we feel good about that strategy.

IP (Freeleigh, MT): Is it better, generally, to have a stronger pitching staff, or a stronger lineup?

Scoresheet Chat with Ben, Jared, and Ian: Both. Duh. Next question. Oh, wait, you still want an answer? We have some disagreement between Outcomes here. The one writing this answer says “stronger lineup,” because if you’re in a standard continuing league, offensive players have longer shelf lives, giving you more chances to win and better value to trade in the long run. However, we’ve also had success with true aces. Kershaws and Felices may have enough short term value to make a pennants added approach worth it to you. Know how you like to play the game, and build towards that.

Shaquanda (Harlem): What is the biggest mistake people make with Scoresheet, and why is it undervaluing RA Dickey?

Scoresheet Chat with Ben, Jared, and Ian: There are obviously tons of different ways you can make big mistakes in a format this complicated, but the first word of caution we'd give to new Scoresheet owners is to avoid trading away the best player in the deal in exchange for quantity or depth. Depth is important to contend, but long term contention is based on having stars. Trade for keepers, draft for depth.

WALLACE15 (New Jersey): I am in an NL continuing league. What is the proper number of prospects and starters in a 10 team league? I assume the answer would be different for contending and rebuilding teams.

Scoresheet Chat with Ben, Jared, and Ian: We'd suggest that the balancing point is somewhere around 5 prospects on a 35 person roster, and that obviously goes up when rebuilding and can definitely go down when targeting a short term contention window.

Marcus (Vermont): I'm not too familiar with the Scoresheet chat as I am new here, so I'm not exactly sure if this question belongs here or not. Forgive me if it doesn't, but anyway. How do you think Rodon's less than impressive start to the year and the insanely high pitch counts (134 in recent start) affect his draft status? Is he still the same guy coming into this year, or do you guys truly believe he has fallen off? Is the #1 SP potential still there, or has his senior year left a sour taste in mouthes around the baseball world? I heard David Price comparisons coming into this year, and was wondering if he's still that same guy. Thanks in advance. These chats are awesome.

Scoresheet Chat with Ben, Jared, and Ian: Welcome! We’re new here too. We care not for ‘belonging.’ Answering this from a Scoresheet perspective, though, Rodon is perhaps the leading example of what is shaping up to be a weak draft in our format. None of us have seen Rodon, so we’re working off the same reports you are, but even savvy players have a tendency to overdraft Rule 4 draftees in the August round, simply because of the fresh blood. Aiken and Kolek are assumedly great, and follow fellow BP writers for plenty more insight, but without Rodon being a dead lock, there’s no reason to trade your team away for a round 40 pick this year.

dantroy (davis): Hi guys, I've been enjoying the podcasts. Keep it up! Do you like to use LIDRs aggressively, or do you stick with your starters throughout the game?

Scoresheet Chat with Ben, Jared, and Ian: On a team that has the luxury of using roster spots on defensively talented players, we support using them, but we rarely end up using enough roster spots on players that have exclusively defensive value that we deploy them as LIDR. Our teams tend to balance defense as a skill amongst the starters and we boost draft value as a result, and we don't often have the subs for defensive purposes, but for use as pinch hitters and platoon advantages late in the game.

gjhardy (beautiful Meriden, NH): Hi guys, I love Team Tracker and I rely on BP's Forecasts early in the season to set up my initial lineups vs RHP and LHP. Any chance you could fold in the SS-supplied platoon numbers so I could easily (assume I am an Excel idiot) get projections vs both RHP and LHP? I need something that automatically tells me that Kole Calhoun (and everyone else on my teams and others) is projected to have an OPS of .788 vs RHP and .694 vs LHP, without me making a bunch of goofy notes to myself. This feature would also help one make decisions on his/her pitchers' "prefer to face" teams.

Scoresheet Chat with Ben, Jared, and Ian: The Team Tracker and Draft Aid projections have this built in with the TAv' (that's un-park-adjusted TAv) available in both vs LHP and vs RHP formats, and those are based exclusively on the Scoresheet splits that they prescribe.

Ace (PA): Should I start Matthew Cain @Colorado tomorrow?

Scoresheet Chat with Ben, Jared, and Ian: It’s too late, dude! Rosters are in! Assuming you’re talking Scoresheet and not the fantasy chat on the left, I’d say that if you have the ability to ask the question, you also probably also have the players on your team to cover for sitting Cain this week. Actually, that’s true in trad fantasy too, so we’ll just give that advice until you find the right format to hear it!

GaryJohnson (The Beach): Which is the best short-term play; Detwiler, Withrow, Chris Perez or Broxton? I'm leaning towards Detwiler because he just might return to starting.

Scoresheet Chat with Ben, Jared, and Ian: It's possible that Detwiler returns to starting, but it feels like Withrow is having more of a breakout this year. Our hunch is that if Detwiler does start again, it would probably be on another team.

hmamis (N.y.): What is the best composition of a team? I have seen teams with 6 shortstops and others with18 pitchers(sp & RP)

Scoresheet Chat with Ben, Jared, and Ian: Everything in moderation? Generally, having 6 shortstops means you're either wasting their value or they're not all that good and you wasted some picks on some crappy shortstops. Balance across positions tends to work out well, and stock piling one thing or another generally means punting something else, and that can be a tough strategy to pull off.

GaryJohnson (The Beach): Is Jordan Lyles worth picking up in this week's supplemental draft? He would just be depth to avoid Pitcher-AAA.

Scoresheet Chat with Ben, Jared, and Ian: Lyles was one of our targets on the recent mock supplemental, and we support him as a target--not unanimously, but particularly if you're looking for SP depth rather than immediate needs in the bullpen. As with any Rockies pitcher, he'll be worth more to you in the weeks they're traveling.

A. Nationals Fan (In the Ether): Dear Podcst Pundits: Perhaps you have heard of T.C.S. This, of course, is short for Tyler Clippard Syndrome. It can also be used generically. Anyhow, how long should a team stick with a player, particularly a pitcher before giving up on him. We have seen other managers, Matt Williams also of late, affirming and re-affirming that Tyler Clippard (or whoever, fill in the name) is his man and he will stick with him. How many games does a manager need to lose before moving on? I know Williams is trying to keep Clippard's confidence up. I don't think that's the problem. He HAS confidence. All he lacks is talent. A. Nationals Fan

Scoresheet Chat with Ben, Jared, and Ian: Are you sure Tyler Clippard Syndrome isn’t the act of being afflicted with sport goggles? I don’t know about this real life thing, because Matt Williams has already benched me for not hustling. However, we have a long leash on our players in the Scoresheetverse, up until the point where their poor play starts affecting their utility in the playoffs.

Eric Moyer (Dayton, OH): How closely do you review your results? Do you go play by play in Score-It and look at the box scores or just one or the other? What kind of details do you like to glean from the play by play besides the entertainment value? What are some of the best lessons or insights you've gotten from viewing the results in Score-It? Thanks.

Scoresheet Chat with Ben, Jared, and Ian: Ian: I barely look at it. I should look at it more than I do. I look at it mostly for depth reasons to make sure the players are doing the things I expect them to and the lineup card has the right players coming in when we need them, so I can make adjustments. Jared: I used to go play by play on the website, but now that we have a bunch of teams, I just look at the box scores. Because the emails are so long, it's still kind of exciting to scroll through and see what happened each game. I still enjoy the play by play for the playoffs, though. Ben: I usually skim the box scores and root one way or another and count wins. I never used the play by play because I find the results to be hokey and contrived.

Steve (Indy): Edinson Volquez--this year's version of Francisco Liriano for the Pirates?

Scoresheet Chat with Ben, Jared, and Ian: Do you think they already gave him Jeff Locke’s locker, or are they waiting for him to be an undeserved all-star first?

Mark68 (A Mile High): Help! I have Team 6 in NL All Stars, a 2-time defending division champ. In my quest to try to win the title last year (falling just short), I traded away many of my draft picks for this year. That meant that I wasn't able to draft much depth this year, and what depth I was able to draft (or keep), and whom I was counting on (hoping) to play in the majors are not (George Kottaras, Tommy La Stella, Oscar Tavares, Wilmer Flores, Tony Abreu) or are injured (Carlos Quentin with his annual injury, Josh Johnson). All of this leaves me with exactly one C, two 1B, one 2B, one part-time 3B, one SS, four OFers, five SPs (plus Thornburg), and five SRs. I have three SPs that are in the minors or should pitch later this year (TJ surgery-all Padres) and the aforementioned players languishing in the minors. I'm still competitive (above .500) and wish to remain so this year. What should I be looking for in the upcoming supps? I'd like another SP, but the best two available are Jorge de la Rosa & Jordan Lyles. I don't trust either. Or should I just try to eliminate all the AAA appearances by infielder and outfielder and draft accordingly?

Scoresheet Chat with Ben, Jared, and Ian: We'd probably go with the best SP with one pick and the best middle infielder with the second since a sixth starter can be used regardless and middle infield depth is one of the most painful places to see AAA show up on the weekly results.

hot stat rat (Toronto): What's your wish list from Scoresheet? I'll get you started: 1. non-gutless ranges for rookies 2. pitch framing for catchers 3. results on Monday mornings (getting closer!) (gap) 4. utility players having ranges for all the positions they've been trained to play at the start of the season.

Scoresheet Chat with Ben, Jared, and Ian: Yeah, the ranges for rookies are pretty silly and we've gotten to a place where there's no sense in that policy. Collectively we are all fans of increased realism, and that would probably impact a few aspects of how the sim itself plays out, and hence how some of the settings work. For example, platoon splits in real life tend to be influenced by, you know, the pitcher, not just the hitters. And if we wanted to go into more depth of things that the newest data brings, we could have more realism around batted ball rates and results, and that sort of thing.

Charles (In Charge): How long should one wait before making major moves to one's team? What barometer(s) do you use?

Scoresheet Chat with Ben, Jared, and Ian: We're probably getting close to where you can draw some conclusions about how competitive your team is likely to be this year. If they're squarely out of it, you probably want to try to sell your supplemental picks or target prospects, and obviously if they're leading the league, you want to build up some top end relievers or similar value to make as much impact this year as possible. In the middle ground you may want to survey your division and try to get a sense for whether or not your team is over or under performing. You could check the runs scored and allowed in the standings and see which teams might be due to improve or regress as help for making decisions about which side of the trading block you want to position yourself.

touchstoneQu (Erie, PA): Help! My AL-only team has six players on the DL (Parker, Fister, Willingham, Profar, Izturis, and Pryor), two others nursing hammys (Hardy, Eaton), and a reliever sent down to AAA (Feliz). I can't convince anyone to part with an extra infielder for picks, so I'm stuck relying on the supplemental draft this week. Two picks. I plan on taking an IF and pitcher. Is Yangervis Solarte for real? Should I take him? The alternatives are Roberts, Goins, Flaherty, Sogard, and Wilson. How about Betances? Or should I go for a more stolid Colby Lewis, Aaron Harang or Chris Capuano?

Scoresheet Chat with Ben, Jared, and Ian: The best part about Scoresheet is that you don’t have to answer the question of whether Yangervis Solarte is for real. When looking for playing time, your more pressing concern is whether the Yankees think he’s for real, and that’s likely been answered in the affirmative. We discussed this in the pod, but Solarte should be good for a little pop and some flexibility at both second and third. Sogard would be next, but maybe we just want to overturn that #FaceofMLB fiasco. As for pitchers, stolidness rules the day. We lean towards Lewis or the surprisingly resilient Harang. Betances is enticing, but if you’re in the hunt, you can probably get top shelf relief from a non-contender later in the season.

A. Nationals Fan (Rockville MD): I'll be going to a Nats game soon. What would you suggest I get at Ben's Chili Bowl?

Scoresheet Chat with Ben, Jared, and Ian: D.C.'s dirty little secret: Ben's Chili Bowl is a little overrated (though their chili fries are kinda addictive). And at the Nats, the lines there are usually pretty long. For best chili value, you may actually want the Hard Times chili nachos. We've also heard good things about the new Isabella joint in there. And the Chicken waffle cone is something special. Also, be sure to check out the new local microbrewery selection, it is pretty solid.

yahoo serious (australia): Are you worried about Miggy? The numbers are awful. In a dynasty H2H points league (fairly standard scoring), i can pick him up for Pujols and Longoria — would that be giving up too much for somebody whose batted ball and K% numbers look to have taken a terrible turn this season?

Scoresheet Chat with Ben, Jared, and Ian: It could just be 3 bad weeks. We're split on this one. Ian and Jared would both prefer Cabrera and Ben would rather have Pujols and Longoria (but he's always been a fan of both those guys).

alfresco (Detroit): Which Scoresheet league do you guys play in?

Scoresheet Chat with Ben, Jared, and Ian: We play in BL Kings (formed by Baseball Prospectus staff and alums and now populated by many sports writers you've heard of and the rest you should be reading that plays with a soft 10 keeper format), BL DwMurphy (an intimidating soft 8 keeper format with actual Scoresheet experts), NL Who's The Boss (an auction/salary format that's very exciting and an ongoing puzzle for us), and AL Pappas (named in honor of Doug Pappas, with several of our friends from the old AL Wasserman, including a few folks you've probably heard of). They all present their own challenges and entertainment, and they keep us thinking and well rounded.

sean3258 (PA): Re Aiken & Kolek, I love prospects, maybe too much, but does it make sense to take a HS pitcher? Gotta be 3 or 4 years minimum until they help you.

Scoresheet Chat with Ben, Jared, and Ian: Exactly our feeling. Edwin Escobar, just to pick a name at random, is still available in more than a quarter of NL-only leagues. Aiken and Kolek are much better, for sure, but that’s a long time waiting on a player with huge bust potential, as all high school pitchers have. Everyone has their place, and we’d take them, but probably not at where they’ll end up going.

Heckler (Interweb): What types of players are better in Scoresheet than IRL (outside of park effects)?

Scoresheet Chat with Ben, Jared, and Ian: bat first/only catchers, hitters with extreme platoon splits are easier to handle in Scoresheet with the larger roster (plus there's no guessing game to be had about the splits for each hitter), and dominant pitchers are more valuable in Scoresheet and can more readily win games for your team single-handedly

Newest member (Of 500 Club): Where do you have Pujols now? Is he back? Finally seems healthy. Even stole a base the other night. Rather have him or Bautista?

Scoresheet Chat with Ben, Jared, and Ian: Coming into the season Sam Miller was talking about how Pujols finally looked healthy and how devastating the lower body injuries were for him in the past couple years. It's fun to believe that he's going to return to form, and as fans of the game, seeing talent like his able to shine instead of being hampered by injuries makes the game more enjoyable.

PaulR (Queens): Everyone knows the big prospect names that will be called up between now and July (e.g., Polanco, Bradley, Singleton. etc.), but are there less heralded MILB guys you think are on the cusp of helping MLB teams?

Scoresheet Chat with Ben, Jared, and Ian: Ian literally talks about nothing else. Less heralded MILB guys are the vital backbone of a savvy Scoresheeter. Let’s offer Tim Cooney and Jake deGrom in the NL, and Mike Montgomery and Sean Nolin in the AL. Draft and follow Triple A guys are much more versatile than all but the best Low-A prospects in all but trade bait ability.

mindread (IL): What process do you use to construct your weekly Scoresheet lineups, especially with regards to how you weight projected vs. current-year OBP & SLG?

Scoresheet Chat with Ben, Jared, and Ian: Once you've drafted a team, there's only so much room to wiggle various players in and out. When we update our lineup cards, the difference between pre-season projection and actual season performance is dwarfed by weekly match up considerations.

Brian (Toronto): If you had O. Taveras and believed he was going to be another Grady Sizemore and wanted to trade him and needed pitching what pitcher(s) would you target in a trade ?

Scoresheet Chat with Ben, Jared, and Ian: Well, Taveras isn't nearly as handsome, so you're already going to have a harder time moving him. Depending on whether you're angling for the "awesome for a few years" part of Sizemore or the "hurt for a while and desperately trying to make a comeback" part of Sizemore obviously changes how you'd handle Taveras. In light of his hype through the minors and recent injury concerns, perhaps the whole career arc is worth considering, and in that case, I hear Grady Sizemore is available.

ALF (Melmac): Give me a player or two whose value you see going up the most this season, particularly in Scoresheet, who you think would be a good trade target.

Scoresheet Chat with Ben, Jared, and Ian: You may be talking about major leaguers, but their values are pretty well set. It may not be the answer to your question, but your best bet in looking to maximize trade value is to look for players who are temporarily blocked, such as your Joc Pederson types. Is he a type? Maybe it’s just Joc Pederson.

Scoresheet Chat with Ben, Jared, and Ian: This was great fun! Thanks for all the questions. We couldn't quite get to all of them, but we'll save them for fodder for the podcast. Check us out on the podcast and send us a note at scoresheet@baseballprospectus.com and follow us on Twitter @TTOScoresheet.


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